Recognizing and Supporting the Social and Emotional Health of Young Children Birth to Age 5
This training for early childhood mental health consultants, offered by the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development Center’s Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, works to help them more fully explore the family context in which social and emotional learning occurs, so they can help parents support the healthy development of their children and properly care for them in everyday situations.
A recent study on epigenetics and stress demonstrates the necessity of this kind of training. The new study discusses and reiterates the long-held understanding that when a mother is under stress while pregnant, this stress may be the result of (repeated) exposure to a violent or traumatic event, that stress can have a long-term detrimental effect on her child’s health and wellbeing.
The problems caused by the exposure to stress can also carry on into and harm the child’s early youth and adolescent development, especially if whatever was causing the initial distress during the pregnancy is not dealt with or continues to escalate. This information only emphasizes the importance and need for early training and education that can combat the effects of the negative exposure and trauma.
There are also several other available resources that support parents and caregivers in helping their child cope with distressing events such as violence that they may be exposed to as they grow up (i.e. bullying, community violence, domestic violence), disasters & terrorism, or the loss of a loved one.
In this guide, the authors explain how exposure to violence may disrupt the development of young children ages birth to 5, and the importance of talking with children about traumatic events as a necessary part of the healing process. The authors provide specific recommendations for creating nurturing environments in homes and early care settings to help young children cope.
This guide helps parents and caregivers identify if their child has been witness to or experienced violence. Sometimes there may not be clear physical signs, but children often suffer from “invisible wounds” that affect them emotionally and psychologically.
This issue brief assists practitioners in understanding the impact of exposure to violence in the development of children as well as the environmental and family factors that may provide a buffer and prevent or reduce the impact of exposure to violence.
Check out the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development’s National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health’s next Webinar:
September 15, 2011, 1:00 – 2:30 PM E.D.T.
A Collaborative Approach to Promoting Social Emotional Well-Being for Children, Youth and Families in the Child Welfare System
Filed under: Exposure to Violence, Maternal and Child Health, Mental Health, Prevention, Public Awareness, Training, Trauma | Tagged: awareness, caregivers, children, exposure, parents, prevention, stress, training, trauma |